Sometimes you wind up in a place where you do not have something that everyone else has. So it was being a young American producer at the Rotterdam Cinemart Labs, straight off the plane from Sundance. Think: Independent Film Model Congress. I and my fellow American, Billy Mulligan, found ourselves on Day One in a “Speed Dating” scenario, spending five minutes each with our new international producer friends. From this and the subsequent wine-fueled dinner, I understood quickly that for all the different backgrounds and accents (Bosnian-inflected Scotch English being the prize winner in this department), we were all quite […]
After the rush of sales in Park City this year, it seems the entire American cine-punditry is racing to declare this the beginning of a new golden age in American Independent Film. I sure hope they’re right. One wonders if March’s SXSW Film Festival in Austin will continue the trend and finally push that festival into true market status. Nearly 40 films were acquired in Park City and many more that premiered there will surely be acquired in the weeks and months to come. Yet for some of the most daring new American films, the sales rat race at Sundance […]
It was a grueling and exhilarating year. Last year from January to December I road-ripped in my van, the “Red Devil,” occasionally flew on airplanes, a few times rode on trains, sprinting across and around America, then over and around Europe, parachuting in on nearly 50 film festivals. It was a manic-depressive trip on the rollercoaster-roadway. One minute I was kissing the stars and the next I was eating asphalt. It was madness, but madness that made complete sense. To understand America today, non-fiction books are giving fewer and fewer clues. Literature has become passé for making sense out of […]
With a hat tip to Photo Cine News, here are clips from two Sundance 2011 prizewinners shot on DSLR cameras. The first, the Grand Jury Prize-winning Like Crazy, was shot on the Canon 7D. (Felicity Jones, featured in this clip, also won a Special Jury Prize for her acting.) The second, Hell and Back Again, won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize as well as the World Cinema Cinematography Award. It was shot on the Canon 5D with custom-built rigs. Hell and Back Again clip from Danfung Dennis on Vimeo.
Since Joe Swanberg’s first feature film, Kissing on the Mouth, premiered at SXSW in 2005, he’s managed to make at least a feature a year, multiple web-series, and found regular launch-pads at SXSW and IFC Films. When Swanberg directs a film, he really functions as a craftsman of the entire work: while he eschews screenplays in favor of improvisation, he works as cinematographer, editor, and usually acts in the film. As the nexus of a low-budget film movement stressing honesty, stories chronicling the lives of people in their twenties, and improvisation (this movement begins with an “M,” ends with “core,” […]
Jamie Stuart went out this morning and took these beautiful shots from our condo. Keep an eye out in the coming days for videos by Stuart from the fest on our Sundance page.
Rich in oil and excess, Abu Dhabi, unlike its slightly more hip and newly bankrupted Emirate cousin Dubai, is for the time being at least, a city on the come. It’s also a place that is a symbol of “progress” in an age when that term has come to have no meaning. Why else would they set the irrepressibly offensive Sex and the City 2 there or have a skyscraper which is unfinished but already in the Guinness Book of World Records for being18 degrees crooked or build a so called “zero emission” city that no one may ever live […]
It’s all in the mix. I’m going to borrow from the overly quoted urban sociologist Jane Jacobs, who maintained that for a city to be vital it requires a blending of old and new neighborhoods, cultural sites, and areas of commerce. For Jacobs, Lincoln Center was poisonous, a large, concentrated collection of arts facilities that is usually lifeless and could have worked better spread out around New York City. As far as I know, Jacobs never got to Dubai. Almost everything there is new, oversized, and sanitized; the scale is not human. After all, the Emirate boasts the world’s largest […]
While it doesn’t have to stretch to come off as a sexy and intoxicating (or from the number of casually inebriated drivers, intoxicated) place, Trinidad and Tobago has a reputation as relatively unassuming. Although it is not reliant on tourism to fuel its economy thanks to its abundance of oil and natural gas, it hasn’t escaped the fate of many struggling Caribbean economies, trying to gain traction in a world increasingly dominated by information technology and increasingly scarce resources. Trinidad and Tobago’s modest prosperity and egalitarian vibe seem to make this largely forgotten southernmost outpost of the Afro-Caribbean world an […]
The Sundance Institute announced today the competition films for its 2011 edition of the Sundance Film Festival. At first glance, it looks like an exciting list with quite a few filmmakers we follow here at the magazine premiering their work, including Rashaad Ernesto Green’s Gun Hill Road, Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene, Andrew Okpeaha MacLean’s On the Ice, Dee Rees’ Pariah, Azazel Jacobs’ Terri and Marshall Curry’s If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front to name just a few. In the release sent out today, festival director John Cooper commented, ““The Festival is a challenge […]